Tax Credits for Buying Alternative, Electric Motor Vehicles

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These vehicle tax credits are available for 2020 tax returns:

When you prepare and e-File your 2020 Tax Return on eFile.com, don't worry about which of the credits above you qualify to claim on your tax return. Simply answer a couple of questions and the eFile app will select the correct tax credit form(s) for you to complete. The app will also calculate and enter your credit amount on your return. Read on to learn more about these credits.

Qualified Plug-In Electric Drive Motor Vehicle Tax Credit

The Qualified Plug-In Electric Drive Motor Vehicle Credit is a credit for placing a new, qualified plug-in electric drive motor vehicle in service. This is a vehicle that, under Section 30D, weighs less than 14,000 pounds, runs significantly by an electric motor, draws electricity from a battery that holds at least 4 kilowatt hours, and is capable of being recharged from an external source of electricity. The vehicle in question must be purchased new--it cannot be used and/or leased. The IRS tax credit ranges from $2,500 to $7,500 per new EV (Electric Vehicle) purchased for use in the U.S. beginning on January 1, 2020. This nonrefundable credit is calculated by a base payment of $2,500, plus an additional $417 per kilowatt hour that is in excess of 5 kilowatt hours. This value cannot exceed $5,000, thus limiting the total credit to $7,500. (Note: a nonrefundable credit is an amount that only goes towards the tax payer's tax liability. If you are expecting to owe $5,000 in taxes, but file for a $7,500 credit from a recently purchased electric car, you would expect to see $5,000, eliminating the difference of $2,500).

The credit will begin to phase out when at least 200,000 qualifying vehicles manufactured by each company have been sold in the U.S. As of October, 2020, the only two companies to begin phasing out are Tesla and General Motors. Once the process has begun, purchasers of electric vehicles are eligible to claim 50% of the credit if the vehicle was acquired in the first two quarters that the 200,000 limit had been reached. If filing for a vehicle purchased in the second two quarters, file for a nonrefundable credit amounting to 25% of the original amount. To see an example of this, find the amounts for General Motors or Tesla in the table below.

To claim the credit on eFile.com, you can prepare and efile Form 8936 along with Form 1040. Once you answer a few simple questions about your tax situation, we will generate the forms for you and help you complete them accurately. If you bought a qualifying vehicle in the past 3 years and you did not claim it on your tax return, you can still get the credit by filing an amended return.

All of the following plug-in hybrids and electric cars qualify for the Credit for Qualified Plug-In Electric Drive Motor Vehicles. They have different credit amounts depending on the year of the vehicle:

Make

Model(s)

2020 Nonrefundable Credit

American Honda Motor Co., Inc. Accord (2014) $3,626
American Honda Motor Co., Inc. Clarity Plug-In Hybrid (2018-2021) $7,500
AMP Electric Vehicles, Inc. GCE and MLE (2012) $7,500
Audi of America, LLC A3 e-tron (2016, 2017, 2018) $4,502
Audi of America, LLC A3 e-tron ultra (2016) $4,502
Audi of America, LLC e-tron SUV (2019); Sportback (2020) $7,500
Audi of America, LLC A8L PHEV* (2020); Q5 PHEV $6,712
Azure Dynamics, Inc. Transit Connect Electric Vehicle (2011, 2012) $7,500
BMW of America i3(s) Sedan (2014-2020) $7,500
BMW of America i8 Coupe (2019, 2020); i8 Roadster (2019, 2020) $5,669
BMW of America X5 xDrive40e (2016-2018) $4,668
BMW of America 330e (2916-2018)

$4,001

BMW of America 530e (xDrive) (2018, 2019); 740e (xDrive) (2018, 2019)

$4,668

BMW of America 745e xDrive

$5,836

BMW of America MINI Cooper S E Countryman ALL4 (2018-2019)

$4,001

BMW of America MINI Cooper S E Countryman ALL4 (2020)

$5,002

BMW of America MINI Cooper S E Hardtop 2 Door (2020)

$7,500

Boulder Electric Vehicles, Inc, Delivery Van DV-500 (2013);  Electric Shuttle DV500 (2013); Electric Flat Bed DV-500 (2013);  Electric Service Body DV-500 (2013)

$7,500

BYD Motors e6 Electric Vehicle (2012-2016)

$7,500

CODA Automotive Sedan (2010, 2012) 

$7,500

Electric Vehicles International (EVI)-MD (Medium Duty) Electric truck (2011, 2012); EVI-WI (Walk-In) Electric truck (2011-2012)

$7,500

Electronic Motor Cars EMC Model E36 7 Passenger Wagon (2010); Model E36t Pick-Up truck (2010); Model E36v Utility Van (2010)

$7,500

FCA (Fiat, Chrysler Automobiles) North America Holding, LLC. Fiat 500e (2013-2020); Chrysler Pacifica PHEV (2017-2019) $7,500
Fisker Automotive Karma Sedan (2012) $7,500
Ford Motor Company Focus Electric (2012-2018) $7,500
Ford Motor Company C-MAX Energi (2013-2017); Fusion Energi (2013-2018) $4,001
Ford Motor Company Fusion Energi (2019-2020) $4,609
Ford Motor Company Ford Escape Plug-in Hybrid $6,834
General Motors, LLC. Chevrolet Bolt (2017-2019) **$7,500 if acquired through 3/31/2019; $3,750 if acquired 4/1/2019 through 9/30/2019; $1,875 if acquired 10/1/2019 through 3/31/2020
General Motors, LLC. Chevrolet Volt (2011-2019) $7,500 if acquired through 3/31/2019; $3,750 if acquired 4/1/2019 through 9/30/2019; $1,875 if acquired 10/1/2019 through 3/31/2020
General Motors, LLC. Chevrolet Spark EV (2014-2016) $7,500 if acquired through 3/31/2019; $3,750 if acquired 4/1/2019 through 9/30/2019; $1,875 if acquired 10/1/2019 through 3/31/2020
General Motors, LLC. Cadillac ELR (2014, 2016) $7,500 if acquired through 3/31/2019; $3,750 if aqcuired 4/1/2019 through 9/30/2019; $1,875 if acquired 10/1/2019 through 3/31/2020
General Motors, LLC. Cadillac CT6 Plug-In (2017-2018) $7,500 if acquired through 3/31/2019; $3,750 if acquired 4/1/2019 through 9/30/2019; $1,875 if acquired 10/1/2019 through 3/30/2020
Hyundai Sonata Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (2016-2020) $4,919
Hyundai Ioniq Electric Battery Vehicle (2017-2019); Kona EV (2019) $7,500
Hyundai Ioniq EPlug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle (2018-2019) $4,543
Jaguar Land Rover North America, LLC. I-Pace (First Edition, HSE, SE, S models) (2019); I-Pace (HSE, SE, S models) (2020) $7,500
Jaguar Land Rover North America, LLC. Land Rover Range Rover (Sport) PHEV (HSE) (2019) $7,087
Jaguar Land Rover North America, LLC. Range Rover (Sport) PHEV (2020)  $6,295
Kandi EX3 (2019, 2020); K22 (2019, 2020)' K23 (2020) $7,500
Karma Revero (2018) $7,500
Kia Motors America, Inc. Soul Electric (2015-2020); NIRO EV (2019) $7,500
Kia Motors America, Inc. Optima Plug-In Hybrid (2017-2020) $4,919
Kia Motors America, Inc. Niro Plug-In Hybrid (2018-2020) $4,543
Mercedes-Benz USA, LLC  B-Class EV (B250e) (2014-2017); smart Coupe EV (2013-2017); smart EQ Fortwo Coupe (2019); smart Cabrio EV (2013-2018); smart EQ Fortwo Cabrio (2019) $7,500
Mercedes-Benz USA, LLC S550e PHEV (2015-2017); GLE550e 4m PHEV (2016-2018)' GLE550e 4m PHEV (2016-2018); GLC350e 4M PHEV (2018-2019) $4,460 (revised 1/24/2018)
Mercedes-Benz USA, LLC C350e PHEV (2016-2018) $3,501 (revised 1/24/2018)
Mitsubishi Motors North America, Inc. i-MiEV (Electric Vehicle) (2012, 2014, 2016, 2017 $7,500
Mitsubishi Motors North America, Inc. Outlander PHEV (2018, 2019) $5,336
Nissan North America LEAF (2011-2020) $7,500
Polestar Automotive USA Inc. Polestar 1 (2020); Polestar 2 (2021) $7,500
Porsche Cars North America, Inc. 918 Spyder (2015) $3,667
Porsche Cars North America, Inc. Cayenne S E-Hybrid (2015-2018) $5,336
Porsche Cars North America, Inc. Cayenne E-Hyrbid (Coupe) (2019-2020); Panamera 4 PHEV (all models) (2019-2020) $6,712
Porsche Cars North America, Inc. Panamera S E-Hyrbid (2014-2016) $4,752
Porsche Cars North America, Inc. Panamera 4 PHEV (all models) (2018) $6,670
Porsche Cars North America, Inc. Taycan 4S; Turbo EV; Turbo S EV (2020) $7,500
Smart Fortwo Electric Drive Vehicle (same as Mercedes-Benz) (same as Mercedes-Benz)
Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid (2019, 2020) $4,502
Tesla, Inc.  Roadster (2018-2011); Model S (2012-2019); Model X (2016-2019);  Model 3 Standard Range (Plus) (2019-2020); Model 3 Long Range (2017-2019);  Model 3 Long Range AWD and AWD Performance (2019); Model 3 Mid Range (2018-2019)  $7,500 if acquired through 12/31/2018; $3,750 if acquired 1/1/2019 through 6/30/2019; $1,875 if acquired 7/1/2019 through 12/31/2019
Think NA Think City EV (2011) $7,500
Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc. Prius Prime Plug-in Hybrid (2017-2020) $4,502
Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc. Prius Plug-in Electric Drive Vehicle (2012-2015) $2,500
Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc. RAV4 EV (2012-2014) RAV4 Prime Plug-In Hybrid (2021) $7,500
VIA Motors, Inc.  2500 Extended Range Electric Passenger Van (2014); VIA 1500 Extended Range Electric Truck 4WD (all body styles) (2014); 2500 Extended Range Electric Cargo Van (2014); 1500 Extended Range Electric Truck 2WD (All body styles) (2014) $7,500
Volkswagon Group of America e-Golf (2015-2019) $7,500
Volvo Cars of North America, LLC S60 (2019); XC60 (2018-2019); XC90 (2018-2019); XC90 Excellence (2018-2019) $5,002
Volvo Cars of North America, LLC S60 (2020-2021); S90 (2020-2021); (V60 (2020-2021); X60 (2020-2021); XC90 (2020-2021) $5,419
Volvo Cars of North America, LLC XC90 (2016-2017) $4,585
Volvo Cars of North America, LLC XC40 Recharge Pure Electric P8 AWD (2021) $7,500
Wheego Electric Cars, Inc. LiFe Electric Vehicle (2011) $7,500
Zenith Motors, Inc. Electric Van (2014-2017); Electric Minibus (2016-2017) $7,500

*PHEV = Plug-In Hybrids

**Companies who have initiated phasing out indicate different, decrementing values based on the year purchased. Currently, only General Motors and Tesla have begun this process.

In addition to these nonrefundable credits, different states offer rebates to encourage taxpayers to invest in electric vehicles. 

Alternative Motor Vehicle Tax Credit

The Alternative Motor Vehicle Tax Credit is for placing a qualified fuel cell vehicle in service and may only be claimed by the original purchaser of the vehicle. A qualified fuel cell motor vehicle is a vehicle propelled by power from one or more cells which convert chemical energy directly into electricity. The credit can only be claimed for cars purchased before 2018. eFile.com can be used to generate the information for Form 8910 to claim the credit and attach it to Form 1040. You can prepare and efile these forms on eFile.com. Once you answer a few simple questions about your tax situation, we will generate the forms for you and help you complete them accurately.

For Tax Year 2020, only partnerships and S corporations are required to use Form 8910 to claim any credit they receive from a partnership whose tax year began in 2018 and ended during their 2020 Tax Year. Other taxpayers claiming the credit should report it on line 1r in Part III of Form 3800, General Business Credit. This form can also be prepared and efiled on eFile.com. 

Below is a list of some certified fuel cell motor vehicles that qualify for the credit:

  • Mercedes-Benz 2012 F-Cell
  • Honda 2012 FCX Clarity Fuel Cell Vehicle
  • Honda 2011 FCX Clarity Fuel Cell Vehicle
  • Honda 2010 FCX Clarity Fuel Cell Vehicle
  • Honda 2009 FCX Clarity Fuel Cell Vehicle
  • Honda 2008 FCX Clarity Fuel Cell Vehicle

Find out how to claim tax credits for energy-efficient improvements to your home. In addition, see other tax credits and tax deductions that you may qualify to claim on your tax return. When you prepare and efile your return on eFile.com, the eFile app will select and enter any deductions and credits you qualify for on your tax return. Please contact eFile.com support if you have further questions or need more help with your 2020 tax return. 

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